Today, the Foundation for SMEs Financing (Dutch: Stichting MKB Financiering) in The Netherlands is launched by the director of European Centre for Alternative Finance, Mr. Ronald Kleverlaan and Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mrs. Mona Keijzer.
Small-and-medium sized organisations should be able to benefit from alternative (non-bank) financing. Certified training for financial advisers must be introduced and entrepreneurs must have easier access to alternative financing. To achieve these goals, ten alternative financiers will work together in this new foundation for SMEs financing to serve more than 25,000 SME organisations.
The Foundation is established by representatives from the market with the aim of improving access to alternative (non-bank) financing options for entrepreneurs. Collaboration between the alternative financiers is the first step to provide more visibility and strength in this young industry. The Foundation will focus on increasing knowledge development among entrepreneurs and developing certified education for financial advisors. In addition, the foundation draws up a code of conduct for SME financing together with entrepreneurs and advisers.
The Foundation consists of 10 parties who want to broaden and professionalize the SME financing market. Boozt24, Collin Crowdfund, Dynamic Credit, Fiduciam, Funding Circle, Fund IQ, Lendix, NPEX, Voldaan and Spotcap together form a broad cross-section of the available forms of financing. The expectation is that more partners will join in the coming period, provided that they also meet the accession requirements.
The interest of the entrepreneur in finding suitable financing is paramount, therefore, the Foundation joins a central complaints register and there is a Code of Conduct for SME Financing that will be further elaborated in collaboration with entrepreneurs and advisers. The foundation expects to publish this new Code that is coordinated with stakeholders, with transparency and appropriate financing towards the entrepreneur at the end of this year. The activities will be carried out in collaboration with stakeholders under the leadership of initiator and director Ronald Kleverlaan.
Mr. Ronald Kleverlaan mentioned that:
A large number of new providers of financing SMEs have been launched in recent years, many entrepreneurs want to make good use of it. In order for the industry to grow sustainably, it is important that entrepreneurs are financed in a responsible manner. That is why it is good to see that the pioneers in the sector have taken the initiative to jointly make clear agreements on transparency and appropriate financing for SMEs.
With the presentation of the spearheads of the Foundation to the State Secretary Mona Keijzer during the Innovation Expo, the starting signal is given for the realization of these ambitions during the coming three years. The MKB Financing Foundation consults with the ministry once every quarter on developments in the sector.
State Secretary Mona Keijzer:
Alternative financing is becoming increasingly important for small-and-medium sized businesses. More than 20 percent of all entrepreneurs are now looking at financing options in addition to a loan from the bank. The Foundation for SMEs Financing will play an important role in this. For example, because the connected platforms help SME entrepreneurs with the issuance of shares and bonds or help with crowdfunding. That is why I am happy with this initiative that is in line with our SME Action Plan. Since entrepreneurs will have different options for sufficient financing, they will get further.
The 10 affiliated parties have already provided a total of around € 10 billion (more than 100,000 loans), of which € 1 billion to 5,000 SMEs in the Netherlands. They represent the majority of the alternative financing market in the Netherlands. The organizations together expect to provide € 5 billion to SMEs in the Netherlands over the next 3 years and to be able to finance at least 25,000 SMEs. On the basis of the € 8.2 billion that is provided annually to SMEs (Financing Monitor 2017-2), this will be more than 20% of the SME financing market.